Peer effects and school design: An analysis of efficiency and equity
This paper estimates educational peer effects at the lower secondary level in Switzerland where different tracking systems coexist. Using a cross-sectional survey based on standardized questionnaires, the structure and magnitude of social interactions among classmates are analyzed. The results are used to find out if grouping students in a completely non-selective way could increase efficiency and equality of opportunity. Empirical findings suggest that mixing students in reading and science classes could enhance efficiency and equity while a similar practice in mathematics courses could only improve equity without any gain in efficiency.
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